Multibillion-dollar Dangote Refinery, opened by President Muhammadu Buhari in Lagos, was hailed on Thursday by the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) as a major step towards resolving the nation's ongoing fuel crisis.
In a statement released in Abuja by Obiageli Onuorah, Deputy Director/Head Communications & Stakeholders Management, NEITI, Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji, Executive Secretary of NEITI, characterised the event as a tremendous national relief.
“We welcome with high expectations the completion and commissioning of the multi-billion dollar Dangote Refinery by President Muhammadu Buhari, in Lagos,” Orji was quoted as saying.
He declared that NEITI, a member of the global Extractive Industries Openness Initiative with the domestic duty to uphold openness and accountability in the oil, gas, and mining sectors, was pleased that the refinery came online amid discussions on the removal of gasoline subsidies.
Orji said that in addition to the significant revenue losses, over N13.7 trillion had been spent on subsidies, capital flight, and other various issues related to fuel imports, according to NEITI's independent study on subsidy payments between 2005 and 2021.
“The take-off of Dangote Refinery with 650,000 barrels daily refining capacity will largely address Nigeria’s domestic demands for refined petroleum products within the short and medium term.
“NEITI salutes the determination, courage and huge confidence demonstrated by Alhaji Dangote in the huge investments in the downstream sector which will address the issues of product availability, job opportunities and value creation.
“The Executive Secretary projects that the commissioning of the Dangote refinery will end fuel importation in Nigeria and subsequently save the nation the over $ 7.3 billion projected to be spent on fuel subsidy in the first half of the year 2023,” he said.
According to the NEITI director, the group expects the Dangote refinery to adhere strictly to the standards of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), to which the nation is a signatory.
“As a major player in the oil and gas industry, NEITI will soon commence engagements with the Dangote Refinery on the specific issues around the 20 per cent equity interest that the NNPC has taken in the refinery on behalf of the Federation.”
In order to foster civic involvement and free capitalism, he pushed the corporation to move away from a monopoly economic model and embrace corporate social responsibility, openness, and accountability.
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